No one can ever say no to pastries, be it sweet or savory ones.
The key to baking the perfect pastry is kneading a good dough. However, no matter how good your dough might be, when rolling it, the dough might crack sometimes, and that could ruin the appearance of your baked goods.
If you are looking for why pastry cracks when rolling, you have come to the right place because, in today’s articles, we will be covering several reasons and share with you some tips on how to fix it. Read on to find out!
Why Pastry Cracks When Rolling?
These are the reasons why pastry cracks when rolling.
1. Using the Wrong Flour
Often, we tend not to buy the type of flour stated in the recipe for a specific pastry. However, what we do not see is that this is a major reason why pastry cracks when rolling and should, therefore, always be avoided.
Each flour type has its own water absorption rate, and drifting away from the stated type will result in you having to tweak the measurements. Regardless of how your dough has turned out, the absence of the right balance of water and fat in the flour will cause your dough to crack after baking when you try to roll it.
2. Not Giving It Enough Time to Set
While baking, it is essential that you let the dough rest before rolling it if that is what your recipe says. When the dough is left to rest, the flour will moisten and cause gluten to form throughout the dough, thus preventing it from cracking when you try to roll it.
One more trick that you could try out in order to prevent your dough from cracking is to refrigerate it after kneading. To do this, you simply have to cover the dough with cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for 20 minutes to half an hour.
However, remember that the dough stays in the fridge should not exceed the stated amount; otherwise, it will dry out.
Moreover, remember to form your dough into a disc-like shape before you store it in the fridge. Freezing it in its natural ball shape will cause the sides to crack when you try to roll it.
3. Rolling the Dough While Cold
After the dough has been chilled for half an hour, be sure to warm it up in the microwave for around 5 minutes or so. Not doing this will cause the sides of the dough to crack when you try to roll it. Side by side, heating the dough for too long will cause the fat in it to melt, and thus it will not stay flakey anymore.
4. Keeping the Dough Too Dry
Sometimes your dough will crack as a result of being too dry. When you see this happening, add a little bit of cold water to the dough and knead again in order to mix the water into the dough properly. However, do remember not to knead it too much as that will only cause the dough to dry out even more.
After kneading it, roll out the dough, and you are most likely to see that it is not cracking anymore. Needless to say, if it still is breaking at the sides, heat it in the microwave for around 120-180 seconds.
5. Using the Wrong Rolling Pin
Regular rolling pins that you use every day may not be the best for when it comes to rolling dough for pastry. This is because, when your rolling pin has handles, you will subconsciously apply more pressure on one side of the pin than on the other. It will cause your dough to be flat in some places and thick in some.
The more you stretch out your pastry dough, the more it is likely to crack. That’s why purchasing a French-style rolling pin before you start baking will do wonders as it will prevent your dough from cracking since it helps to alleviate the pressure you apply on one side of the dough and evenly distributes it throughout the pastry.
6. Using Too Much Flour
It is a common misconception amongst new bakers that covering your flour board with more flour will prevent the dough from cracking. In fact, powdering your work area more actually does the exact opposite- it causes your dough to crack when rolling.
The right amount of flour needed to keep your board smooth would be no more than one teaspoon. Do not worry about your dough being too pasty; the stated amount of flour will help you take care of that. At the same time, it will also save your dough from cracking at the sides.
7. Not Having a Suitable Board
Similar to owning the right kind of rolling pin when it comes to making pastries, not having a good rolling board will also hinder the process by causing the dough to crack.
Investing in a marble pastry board would be the right thing to do since it is naturally cool to the touch and will hence keep your dough at a temperature lower than that of the room. As a result, your dough will stay fresh and even.
8. Straying Away from the Recipe
We cannot stress enough how important it is that you follow the recipe to its last letter. The measurements stated in a recipe booklet are there because pastry dough requires the right proportions of every ingredient in order to be perfect and not crack when rolled.
Always make sure that you are taking the exact measurements, not more or even less than that.
If, even after following all the steps as mentioned above, your dough is still cracking when you try to roll it, try to improvise the process a little. By improvising, we do not mean you have to add more water or more of any ingredient. It simply means that you should mix a bit of shortening to your butter.
The trick to do this is to replace one-quarter of the cup with shortening and then fill the rest up with melted butter, and then use this mixture to make the dough.
How to Fix Cracks in Your Pastry?
Now that we have taken a look at why pastry crack when rolling, let us now discuss what should be done if your pastry dough has already cracked.
1. Mend the Dough
Often, the crack in the dough becomes way too large, and in situations like this, the best thing you can do is separate a section of dough from the edge of the pastry and cover the crack with it before carefully rolling again.
2. Pinch the Cracks Together
This is a very common technique used by home bakers worldwide. If the cracks in your pastry are still forming, pinch them together and roll over it gently in order to even out the surface. Be careful not to stretch the dough out too much, as it will only lead to further cracking.
If you have been trying to mend your dough for a long time now, save yourself from the trouble of repeating it and start again from scratch. Gather up the dough and knead it once again before refrigerating it for around half an hour (be sure to follow the steps mentioned above when doing so!).
This time your dough will be less likely to crack, and you will hopefully be done with baking in a shorter time.
After finding out why pastry cracks when rolling, we hope you will be able to take the corrective measures needed and serve pastry even better than before! Thank you for staying with us till the end, and we will see you again soon. Happy baking!